A CHARITY supporting victims of domestic abuse in the Wee County is urging locals to speak out against proposed cuts that would affect how effectively aid is delivered to survivors.

A £20,000 item on the proposed budget savings by Clackmannanshire Council's senior officers, the “redesign” of women's crisis services would hit the Forth Valley Rape Crisis Centre and Clackmannanshire Women's Aid.

The latter has served the community for 41 years now by providing information, support and safe refuge accommodation to abused women and their children.

A spokesperson for Clackmannanshire Women's Aid is encouraging everyone who has engaged with the service to make their voices heard as part of the budget consultation, which ends this Friday, February 2.

She said: “We are the only specialist domestic abuse service working within the Clackmannanshire area, which has the third highest incidents of domestic abuse per 10,000 population in Scotland, with police statistics showing 151, whilst Scotland had 104 per 10,000.

“Last year Clackmannanshire police recorded 776 incidents of domestic abuse. Clackmannanshire Women’s Aid supported 205 women and 144 children and young people, through our refuge, office, follow-on and outreach services.”

Now enshrined as a strategic element in the Local Outcomes Improvement Plan, which the council and its partners adopted, is the drive to make sure “women and girls will be confident and aspirational, and achieve their full potential”.

The spokesperson added: “When around one in four women will experience some form of domestic abuse in their lives, with similar figures approximated for rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, we would ask the council to reconsider whether this cut is the best way to achieve those outcomes.

“The Scottish Government has placed a high priority on identifying and widening the legal definition of domestic abuse with the new Domestic Abuse Bill and supporting legislation coming into effect this year.

“We anticipate our services will face an ever-increasing demand and we do not believe it possible to cut anymore funding from women’s services without it resulting in serious harm for survivors in Clackmannanshire.”